News of comeback win brings soccer coach out of coma

Larkhall Athletic FC coach Wayne Thorne with his wife, Mandy, in better times. (@AmandaGThorne...

Larkhall Athletic FC coach Wayne Thorne with his wife, Mandy, in better times. (@AmandaGThorne photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:06 AM ET

News of a dramatic comeback win by the soccer team he coaches in England was enough to bring Wayne Thorne out of a coma.

When Thorne, who was in an induced coma at a North Bristol hospital following a near-fatal car crash, was told by his wife Mandy that his team, Larkhall Athletic FC, had posted a 4-3 win over Bridport after overcoming a 3-1 deficit in its Western Football League season-opening game, he regained conciousness, according to the Bath Chronicle.

“Football and sport and being active, that has been his life, so when he was in his coma we were told to talk to him,” Mandy Thorne told the Chronicle. “On the first Saturday Larkhall had a game and me and his brother told him the score and he opened his eyes. I know studies have shown that they can hear you and me and his brother truly believe he heard us.

“It was brilliant to see, because he absolutely loves his football and is so dedicated to Larkhall Athletic.”

Given his injuries, the 33-year-old could easily have died in a head-on collision two weeks ago. He tore the main artery in his heart, which required surgery, broke 16 ribs (which had punctured his lung), and had many other broken bones below the waise — his sternum, pelvis, hip and left leg.

“I saw him on the Wednesday, straight after the crash, and he had refused pain relief to begin with, and was talking about missing the football,” his wife said. “At that stage we didn’t realise the extent of his injuries, and we just wouldn’t have believed that long list of injuries.”

Thorne, who became Larkhall Athletic manager in 2012 after ending his playing career with the team, still has a long recovery before he can rejoin the team. He’ll be bed-ridden for another six weeks while his ribs heal so it will likely be months before he’s on the sideline again.

Oh, and that season-opening win that brought him out of the coma? Well, that was followed up by a 4-0 win over Willand Rovers Saturday.


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